CUP Undergraduate Research


Attachment to Parents and Life Satisfaction: An Examination of College Age Students from Intact and Divorced Families

Date of Award

Spring 4-16-2010

Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis


College of Theology, Arts, & Sciences



Degree Name

Psychology, BA

First Advisor

Dr. Kevin Simpson


Studies have shown that compared to individuals from intact families, individuals from divorced parent families tend to fare worse emotionally, socially, physically, and psychologically than those raised in intact biological families, and that attachment has an relationship with family type and psychological well-being (Love & Murdock, 2004; Nair & Murray, 2005). The purpose of this study was to determine whether attachment and life satisfaction were different between college age students from intact biological families verses those from divorced families. In an attempt to integrate and expand on research in the area of attachment and family type as researched by Love & Murdock (2004), the present study included more family types which result from divorce including: step-families, single-parent families, and cohabitating-parent families. Based on research that has shown the impact divorce has on the attachment type of a child, (Clarke-Stewert ,2000, Nair & Murray, 2005, Page & Bretherton, 2001), the results confirmed there is significance in the relationship between attachment and family type. This study also found a difference in the attachment style of children from divorced families and children from intact families. Discussion of the findings and directions for future research also will be presented.

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